Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 499

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 499th installment of Decoding Village Agendas to keep Croton residents informed of the actions of the Village Board at their meetings.  I continue to add recipients to this email update on agendas so you may be receiving it for the first time. I enjoy getting your feedback and hope to continue to hear from you.  If you do not wish to receive these periodic email updates from me, please reply to this email and your name will be removed from the email list.

Ann Gallelli

Decoding Village Agendas – July 6, 2020

Regular Meeting of the Village Board

6:00 pm

(Zoom )

 

Join Zoom Meeting via Computer or Tablet – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86996753185?pwd=V0QyVmdFU2hlaHNrYTcrWit2Q3lwZz09

Join Zoom Meeting by Phone: +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)

Webinar ID: 869 9675 3185

Password: 106985

 

PRESENTATIONS AND OTHER:

  1. Presentation by Jasmine Graham, Program Manager for Westchester Power, on the current Community Choice Aggregation program and its upcoming renewal.

 

CORRESPONDENCE:

  1. Letter from Mayor Robert T. Kennedy, President of NYCOM, regarding changes to discovery requirements and CARES Act funding.  Mr. Kennedy  addresses two topics, the changes in Criminal discovery requirements in NYS and, he urges municipalities to advocate US Senators in favor of stimulus help for municipalities.

 

APPROVED RESOLUTIONS:

  1. Affirmation of a resolution adopted on June 22, 2020, regarding a revision to the Village’s Street Vendor License Policy.   The Village Board approved street vendor licenses to be allowed for extra hours for June 25 and June 26 for graduation activities.
  2. Affirmation of a resolution adopted on June 22, 2020, to add a fee for food vendors in Village parks to the master fee schedule.   The Village Board approved the inclusion of a fee of $100/day for food vendors in Village Parks to be added to the Master Fee schedule.  Such Vendors are limited to the period between May 1 and September 30.

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

  1. Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to make necessary transfers in the 2019-2020 General, Water and Sewer Fund budgets.  In anticipation of the up-coming onsite audit, these transfers reflect the end of the fiscal year 2019/2020.
  2. Consider adopting a resolution of support for a residential parking permit system on Young Avenue and Hastings Avenue.  In December 2019, the Board discussed a residential parking permit system be instituted for Young and Hastings Avenues.  This requires NYS approval.  Assemblywoman Galef and Senator Harckham have introduced such legislation for this parking and require a formal Home Rule resolution asking for such from the Village Board.
  3. Consider authorizing Village personnel to perform a cleanup of the property located at 11 Lounsbury Road and to place the cost for such cleanup as a lien upon the property.  After officla notices to the property owner, the condition of this property requires the Village to take over the clean up.  The costs of this will be added to the property taxes.
  4. Consider authorizing the Village Manager to execute an amendment to the deed restriction in place for 40 Prospect Place to permit the construction of two additions to the residence.  A deed restriction, dating from 1972, required that construction be limited to the buildings shown in drawings at that time.  Current owners submitted a Minor Site Plan amendment to the Planning Board for two additions.  The Planning Board, after consideration, is recommending that the deed restriction be lifted.
  5. Consider authorizing the Village Manager to execute a license and service agreement with CivicPlus of Boxborough, Mass., in the amount of $4,368 for the period between July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.  CivicPlus is the new owner of VTS which has hosted the Village website since 2000.  This is the yearly contract renewal.
  6. Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to close various capital project accounts as of May 31, 2020.  This would close out 13 capital accounts where the projects have been completed.

Rick Olver: C’mon, Croton United, really?

olver2C’mon, Croton United, really?  You keep beating that tired old drum, falsely claiming extreme Democratic fiscal irresponsibility.  The latest post claims “even Bernie Madoff’s accountant would know better” than our excellent, non-partisan Village Manager.

You point to Croton Point Avenue cost overruns, the “disappearance” of the Gouveia Park endowment, and the ballooning cost of the DPW building.  Here are the facts:

  1. New York State increased its contribution to the Croton Point Avenue project so Crotonites don’t pay more.
  2. The Gouevia endowment still has plenty of money.
  3. The new DPW building was a Croton United administration initiative.

The Village is actually in strong financial shape, closing Fiscal Year 2019-20 at the end of this June with a surplus, despite the fact that Q4 (April-June 2020) included the unprecedented and totally unexpected COVID-19 lockdown that hammered sales tax and parking lot revenues.

We have plenty of severe problems right now.  In such times, why does Croton United insist on making personal insults and distorted claims?  You haven’t run candidates since 2017.  If you have an alternative, give the people a choice. That would be much more productive than exaggerated sniping.

 

Rick Olver

Former Croton Trustee

John Habib: Step Right Up and Support Local Businesses

Just in time for excellent weather in our region, the Board of Trustees adopted at its June 1st meeting a licensing procedure for the sale of products from booths and tables placed in pre-approved Village locations. This step was taken in accordance with a Street Vendor License Policy that was developed across many months of deliberations and public input. The procedures allow for the issuance of a vendor license valid on Sundays between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. in designated areas within the Upper Village, Harmon and Section B of Croton-Harmon Train Station parking lot. The Village reserves the right to make the final determination of the specific vendor locations within each area. The fee for a license is $125 per issuance, and the number of licenses is limited to 2 per area to avoid over-crowding. It is hoped that this step will provide Croton residents with some refreshing new dining and shopping options for the summer season. Enjoy!

John Habib, Trustee

Brian Pugh: Recognizing Croton’s Young Activists

2020-06-20-blmDear Neighbors:

“Somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for rights,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr famously said. It’s in that spirit that I would like to congratulate the young organizers of the “Protest by The Black Student Activists of Croton & More.”
Last Friday, students including a trio of young women (Khadia, Maliha and Paige), organized a peaceful demonstration to, in the words of the organizers,: “[i]n light of the never ending history of black oppression..to fight against police brutality and systemic racism.” This was an independent, grassroots, youth-led demonstration with the student organizers determining 100% of the program–which included speakers ranging from students to social workers to the Deputy County Executive.
You may or may not you fully agree with the message of these young activists and their supporters. Nevertheless, their message is one that we, including the local public officials who were in attendance (including County Legislator Catherine Borgia, members of the School Board and some of my colleagues on the Board of Trustees) and private citizens, should all take seriously.

Sincerely,

Brian Pugh, Mayor

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 498

Dear neighbor, Here is the 498th installment of Decoding Village Agendas to keep Croton residents informed of the actions of the Village Board at their meetings.  I continue to add recipients to this email update on agendas so you may be receiving it for the first time. I enjoy getting your feedback and hope to continue to hear from you.  If you do not wish to receive these periodic email updates from me, please reply to this email and your name will be removed from the email list.

Ann Gallelli

Decoding Village Agendas –   June 22, 2020

Work Session of the Village Board

6:00 p.m.

 

NOTE:  Please note the meeting will start at 6:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting via Computer or Tablet – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81658333609?pwd=NDVxaFR0dHU0MGlpRXBibEczT1pRdz09

Join Zoom Meeting by Phone: +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)

Webinar ID: 816 5833 3609

Password: 290331

  1. Discussion on Echo Canoe Launch parking issues.  The Board will consider a recommendation Krissy Gilligan,.  Ms. Gilligan manages the Village’s parking at the station and at other lots.  Her recommendation is that non-residents parking for the boat launch be charged a fee and restricted to Lot J, just north of the salt shed.  Village residents would have free parking but would need either a regular Village parking permit or a Resident weekend parking permit.  The proposed fee would be $1/hour.  Signage would be provided to inform and direct vehicles to the pay stations.

 

  1. Review of suggestions from the Bicycle-Pedestrian Committee.   The Bicycle Pedestrian Committee has provided the Board with its suggestions for a safer experience for school children to bicycle to school.  Among other items it asks for cross walk boxes along Benedict Blvd. at Young, Hasting sand Penfield.  The BPC is also suggesting that an identified preferred route for cycling to school be agreed upon and then promoted by the Village and schools with painted sharrows on the identified streets along with “Bike Route” signage.

Brian Pugh: Croton Community Responds to the Murder of George Floyd & the New Civil Rights Movement

Dear Neighbors:brian-pugh-group-cropped

In the days since the killing of George Floyd by the now former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin and subsequent protests across the country, there has been a national conversation on policing and civil rights. I would like to share with you some steps our local Croton Police Department has taken and is taking to better serve the community.

 

When the Board of Trustees appointed Russel Harper  as the Chief of Police  in 2018, we made our priorities clear: more community policing; more training; a more diverse force.

 

Under Chief Harper, we have added 2 bilingual officers and a bilingual park ranger (previously we had none).  We also hired our first woman in uniform in almost a decade.   Chief Harper has made sure that officers strengthen their ties to the community with programs like “coffee with a cop” where residents can meet with the police in a casual setting.

 

Since early 2020, Chief Harper and I have been discussing anti-bias training for the Croton Police Department.

 

At last night’s work session, Chief Harper announced he planned to have all officers of the CPD complete such a program developed by New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal (NYMIR), an insurance cooperative of local governments that provides training on a range of topics to disseminate best practices and reduce risks among its members. The NYMIR course provides lessons on identifying biases, examples of proscribed bias policing, avoiding biased policing and maintaining an unbiased and respectful culture.

 

In addition, Chief Harper is continuing to develop a community policing and de-escalation curriculum for the Croton Police.

 

As reported in last week’s Gazette, Chief Harper and I joined an interfaith vigil against racism organized by Croton’s houses of Worship.  We released a joint statement expressing our solidarity with those that demand law enforcement protect and serve all communities equally and all citizens be treated with respect regardless of race.

 

The Village Board of Trustees and I will continue to work with our police to ensure that our Croton-on-Hudson progresses towards this goal.

 

Sincerely,

 

Brian Pugh, Mayor

Ann Gallelli: The Path Forward for Police Reform

Dear Neighbors:ann2016

During the past two weeks we have been hearing much about the need for Police reforms. Here in Croton, across Westchester and throughout New York State and the nation, there have been calls for reform.  A few days ago, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 203, “New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative”.

The NYS Order mandates that all local police departments develop a plan and have it approved by NYS by April 1,2021.  Such a plan would cover a review of current policies and procedures, developing a reform and reinvention plan with input from all stakeholders, and public comment and local ratification by the local governing body.

What does this mean for Croton going forward and where are we now on the spectrum of changes in policing?  Coinciding with the appointment of a new Police Chief, Russel Harper, in 2018, the Board made “community policing” a priority for the future of the department.  Its many aspects include more community involvement by our officers, adding two bilingual officers and a park ranger, and hiring of a woman police officer (our first in many years).  Currently, our police officers are also completing Anti-bias/implicit training by the end of June.

At the same time, the Board has postponed proposed improvements to the existing department. Although this was primarily due to the financial effects on the village of the Covid-19 virus, it effectively defunds the department for the time being.  However, many of the items included in the postponed project were addressing the very things that the calls for reform are seeking. A booking experience that is humane in its conditions (not being handcuffed to a bench), a single holding cell with no bathroom facility, no facilities for women officers, no separation for minors and separation from adults  are just a few.  Ultimately, these are things I think a future reform law will call for.

Croton works with the County , State, MTA and DEC police.  Each of these organizations will be developing their own new plan in accordance with the Executive Order.  It is expected that there will be coordination among them all to achieve meaningful and lasting reforms.  Croton-on-Hudson will be an active participant in this process.

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 496

Dear neighbor, Here is the 496th installment of Decoding Village Agendas to keep Croton residents informed of the actions of the Village Board at their meetings.  I continue to add recipients to this email update on agendas so you may be receiving it for the first time. I enjoy getting your feedback and hope to continue to hear from you.  If you do not wish to receive these periodic email updates from me, please reply to this email and your name will be removed from the email list.

Ann Gallelli

Decoding Village Agendas –   June 8, 2020

Work Session of the Village Board

6:00 p.m.

 

NOTE:  Please note that the meeting will start at 6 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting via Computer or Tablet – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84517284122?pwd=b0FjVFRkTmZ0R2NnZzJwMTF2UFJTUT09

 

Join Zoom Meeting by Phone: +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)

Webinar ID: 845 1728 4122

Password: 696283

 

  1. Update from Historic Hudson Valley on the Van Cortlandt Manor Entrance Improvements Project.  Representatives from HHV will provide details on the status of the planned entrance improvement project for Van Cortlandt Manor on South Riverside Ave.  HHV applied for a grant in 204. The Village agreed to be the “sponsor” for official purposes with HHV assuming all obligations in 2009.  The Federal Highway Administration provided a $3.7 million grant for the project, 80% of which is provided by the government and 20% is from HHV.  Details of the proposal will be discussed.
  2. Discussion of possible solar projects at the Croton-Harmon Train Station.  As proposed by the Village’s Sustainability Committee, the Board will discuss the possibility of soliciting proposals for solar canopies at the train station parking lot.
  3. Review of Village Board resolution dated May 3, 1993, regarding special permits issued for outdoor dining and/or displays.  The Board will discuss whether the existing conditions remain applicable or should be updated.
  4. Review of new COVID-19 guidance from NYS on utilizing certain Village streets for outdoor dining.   The State has issued guidance on outdoor dining.  The Croton Business Council has submitted a proposal that calls for outdoor dining on Upper Village streets (Grand and Old Post Road South), with tables and chairs located in the cordoned off areas. The CBC proposes closure for outdoor dining on Saturdays and Sundays.  The NYS Liquor Authority also has guidance on outdoor alcoholic beverages.  The Board will discuss this proposal as well as look at other local proposals for outdoor dining.
  5. Update on anti-bias training in the police department.  A report will be given on the status of this training that began over the last year.

Brian Pugh: The Value of Community Control Over the Croton Police

Dear Neighbors:brian-pugh-group-cropped

At a time when there’s unprecedented scrutiny of law enforcement, I believe there is tremendous value in having a local police department that’s directly accountable to the community it serves. Local control means personnel are selected by the community and familiar with the public they serve and where the department’s policies can reflect local priorities.

At a meeting last month, a member of the Board of Trustees suggested the Village consider contracting with another police agency.  In response, I requested that the Manager prepare a memo to the Board summarizing and analyzing the contracts between other Westchester communities.

In the memo, the Village Manager found:

The value of having our own police department is qualitative and cannot be measured in dollars and cents… However, I have been asked to review the Town of Cortlandt’s contract with Westchester County, the Town of Ossining’s contract with the Village of Ossining, and the Town/Village of Mt. Kisco’s contract with Westchester County. Upon review of these contracts it is clear that even from a purely financial perspective, the Village recognizes a financial savings from having its own force… The Village is therefore saving over $1-million per year by utilizing its own force.

 

The manager has reviewed the arrangements the County police have with other jurisdictions. There is no reason to believe that the Village of Croton-on-Hudson would get a more favorable agreement than what those communities have.

More importantly, we would lose local democratic control over policing in our community. We would go from citizens to consumers.

When the Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Russel Harper  as the Chief of Police for the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, we made our priorities clear: a renewed emphasis on community policing; more training; a more diverse corps of officers; a modern police force.

In less than 3 years, Chief Harper has made steady progress on all these fronts. When I became mayor, we had an all-male police force with no bilingual officers.  Under Chief Harper, we have added 2 bilingual officers and our first woman in uniform in almost a decade. Further, Chief Harper has made sure that officers strengthen their ties to the community with programs like “coffee with a cop” where residents can meet with the police in a casual setting.

Meanwhile, the Chief has continued to uphold the best traditions of the Croton PD (such as recruiting officers with deep roots in the community) and keep our Village one of the safest communities in New York State. Indeed, our record on public safety was one of the key reasons Croton-on-Hudson was named the best community in New York State in USA Today.

 

Since I joined the Board, I’ve been convinced of the value of the local police force.  Correspondence from residents indicates overwhelming support for the current level of service that we have and opposition to any reduction.

We are facing unprecedented financial challenges as a Village.  We should not be afraid to consider new proposals to save money and better serve the public.  We cannot afford the luxury of sacred cows or unexamined assumptions.

Nonetheless, in my view, the Manager’s memo and the public’s correspondence makes it clear that there’s little to be gained from further exploration of police consolidation for the foreseeable future. Therefore, I will not be placing contracting out our police service on the agenda for a future work session.  It’s not a good use of the time and energy of the Board and Village staff to devote our limited resources to this topic.

I look forward to continuing to work with Chief Harper and the Village administration to further improve the Croton Police Department while controlling costs.

Sincerely,

Brian Pugh, Mayor

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 495

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 495th installment of Decoding Village Agendas to keep Croton residents informed of the actions of the Village Board at their meetings.  I continue to add recipients to this email update on agendas so you may be receiving it for the first time. I enjoy getting your feedback and hope to continue to hear from you.  If you do not wish to receive these periodic email updates from me, please reply to this email and your name will be removed from the email list.

Ann Gallelli

 

 

 

Decoding Village Agendas – June 1, 2020

Regular Meeting of the Village Board

6:00 pm

(Zoom )

 

Join Zoom Meeting via Computer or Tablet – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84783493301?pwd=RHp6Y3o4ZytsNHRSdmJoaWNNUDZzdz09

Join Zoom Meeting by Phone: +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)

Webinar ID: 847 8349 3301

Password: 679501

 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

  1. Public Hearing to consider a special permit for Verizon Wireless for the co-location of a personal wireless services facility located at 26 Veterans Plaza. This is a renewal application for an existing wireless facility at the train station.  It was initially approved in 2010 and renewed in 2015.

 

  1. Public Hearing on Local Law Introductory 4 of 2020 to amend Chapter 191 of the Village Code, Sewers, to reflect the sending of sewer bills via email.  If approved, this resolution would permit the sending of sewer bills via email.

 

  1. Public Hearing on Local Law Introductory 5 of 2020 to amend Chapter 172 of the Village Code, Commercial Soliciting, to allow vendors the use of public streets on a license basis. The proposed amendment to the Village Code on Commercial Soliciting would allow licensing vendors to use public streets. It would allow the Village to issue a permit for a fixed location with days and times specified.

 

CORRESPONDENCE:

  1. Memo from Daniel O’Connor, Village Engineer, requesting an extension of a building
  2. permit for 370 South Riverside Avenue.  This is a request for 6 month extension to allow completion of ongoing work.
  3. Email from Claudia & Raul Castro of 152 Old Post Road South regarding a neighborhood petition to limit parking on Old Post Road South.  The Castro’s would like parking restrictions on Old Post Road South similar to those recently imposed on Truesdale, Nordica and Cedar.  They include a petition with several neighborhood signatures.
  4. Letter from Steven Jennings, President of the Croton Sailing School, regarding payments owed for lease of property.  The Sailing school operation which includes teaching sailing, offering charters, and operating a youth camp has been run by Mr. Jennings for 34 years.  Since last year’s operations were curtailed due to the Covid-19 virus resulting in a reduction of use in the facilities, he is asking for a prorated reduction in lease fees of $3517.68.  In regards to a renewed lease for 202 season, he would like it reduced on a prorated basis depending on when operations can resume.
  5. Memo from the Village Manager regarding the value of the Croton Police Department.  The Village Manager has reviewed the existing contracts for Police coverage for the Town of Cortlandt, Mount Kisco, and between the Town/Village of Ossining.  Manager King demonstrated that from a financial perspective, the Village pays less for more coverage by having its own Police department.  Included in this review are the costs of facilities, Overtime (not included in other contracts), numbers of officers and overall hours/days of coverage.  Additionally, the report points out that many aspects of local policing are at the direction of the Village which would not be possible if coverage was part of a contract with an outside agency..

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

  1. Consider authorizing the Village Manager to execute Change Order 4 with Hendrickson Fire Rescue Equipment of Islandia, New York, for changes made to the design of the 2018 Triple Combination Pumper, in the change amount of $13.60.   This change order would result in the additional charge of 13.60 for the item in question.  This is the 4th change order so far in the design and building of this pumper with the over result being $11,000+ price reduction.
  2. Consider authorizing the Village Manager to accept a proposal from Danzinger & Markhoff LLP of White Plains, New York, for actuarial services in relation to GASB 75 for the reporting of post-employment retiree benefits in the amount of $4,305.  This will ensure compliance with the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) with regards to these specified benefits.
  3. Consider declaring Village property located on Hollis Lane to be surplus and authorizing the Village Manager to execute a contract of sale for this property with Bojan Petak in the amount of $100,000.  This property, outside the Village boundaries in the Town of Cortandt, is undeveloped and serves no us purpose for the Village.  Declaring it surplus allows the village to sell it.  There were multiple offers made on it.  The sale price is $100,000.
  1. Consider adoption of the Village’s Street Vendor License Policy and adoption of a license fee.  This would allow merchants to set up booths and tables in certain areas of the Village at certain times subject to obtaining a license and paying a fee.
  2. Consider adoption of the 2020-2021 Bond Resolutions for the purpose of funding the capital budget.  Eight bond resolutions will be considered for a total of $2,558,811 including $350,0000 for Water fund improvements.  These projects were approved by the Board in May when they approved the Capital Budget.
  3. Consider authorizing the Mayor to execute the Sponsor Authorization Form for the Croton-on-Hudson Fire Department Length of Service Award Program for 2019.  This is the final step in an annual process whereby members of the Fire Department are certified to have met requirements for the Service Award credit for 2019.
ReplyReply allForward